Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front chairpersons must not be involved in the distribution of inputs under the Presidential Inputs Scheme, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture Paddy Zhanda told Parliament last week. The inputs must be distributed through the District Administrator and Agritex officers.
Zhanda was responding to a question by Mutasa Central legislator Trevour Saruwaka who had asked whether the scheme was a government or a ZANU-PF one because the inputs were being distributed by ZANU-PF chairpersons.
“If what he is alleging is true, that is not government policy that these inputs be distributed by chairpersons of political parties. Inputs are distributed through the DA and Agritex Officers. If that is happening, they should give us more details and we investigate,” Zhanda said.
He also said that people must not be charged for the inputs. Hurungwe West legislator Temba Mliswa said people were being charged $1 or $2.
Q & A:
*MR. MLISWA: Madam Speaker, my question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Agriculture Hon. Zhanda. I once asked if there were any conditions attached on the distribution of inputs and you said no. What is happening in the rural areas is that for the fertilizers and seeds, farmers are asked to pay $2 or $1 but you have said no; so what plans are there for this to stop? Thank you.
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (LIVESTOCK) (MR. ZHANDA): Thank you Madam Speaker. Let me thank the hon. member for that question. It is very true that when he asked me I said there were no conditions attached and up to today I will stand by that. Maybe what he is alleging could be taking place not as Government policy. If he comes across such anomalies, he should give us more details for further investigations.
*MR. SARUWAKA: My supplementary question to the Deputy Minister of Agriculture is that, can he enlighten us on the people who are distributing the inputs because in the rural areas where we come from, those who are distributing are the ZANU PF chairpersons. So can you enlighten the children of Zimbabwe whether this is a ZANU PF programme or Government – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
*THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, hon. members the Minister wants to hear the supplementary question. Minister have you heard the question? Can the hon. member please repeat the question?
*MR. SARUWAKA: Can you enlighten the children of Zimbabwe whether the Presidential Input Scheme is a ZANU PF or Government programme? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
*MR. ZHANDA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I would want to thank Hon. Saruwaka for that question giving me the opportunity to elaborate how the Presidential inputs are distributed. Like what I said before, if what he is alleging is true, that is not Government policy that these inputs be distributed by chairpersons of political parties. Inputs are distributed through the DA and Agritex Officers. If that is happening, they should give us more details and we investigate.
*MR. MANDIPAKA: My supplementary question is a follow up to the answer that the Deputy Minister gave that it is true that Presidential inputs are distributed through the DA’s office but when it comes to the ground the Agritex officers are not the ones that live with the people they would involve councillors and village headmen. The Agritex Officers will just deal with the paper work. So we need to be enlightened on what actually takes place.
*MR. ZHANDA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I think Hon. Mandipaka did not get what I was saying. What Hon. Saruwaka had alleged is that the Presidential Input Scheme is distributed by ZANU PF chairpersons, that is what I said that is not Government policy. If there is anywhere that is happening, they should let us know so that we investigate. The distribution of the Presidential Input Scheme involves the DA, Agritex officers and councillors they are the ones responsible when it comes to the distribution of the Presidential Input Scheme.